If it weren't for annuals and succulents...

Calibrachoa 'Cherry Star' from Proven Winners
If it weren't for annuals that don't seem to mind a little (let's face it--a lot of) heat, my garden would be pretty colorless by now. A few new ones came into my life this season, including a couple of Calibrachoas from Proven Winners called 'Cherry Star' and 'Grape Punch'. Both have slowed down a bit but will ramp up their blooms as the evening temperatures cool off somewhat. According to Missouri Botanic Garden's site, Calibrachoa doesn't tend to slow down in midsummer like its cousin, the Petunia, but I've found it depends on their location.

Calibrachoa 'Grape Punch' cools the air with its color.
My Calibrachoas live in large pots combined with other annuals, including Verbena and sweet potato vine. The Petunias I'm growing this year are in a raised bed and they haven't slowed down much at all during the numerous and blazing heatwaves we've experienced in northwest Indiana.

Petunia 'Easy Wave Violet' shows its luminescent power.
I've never been much of a Petunia fan, but I've been really impressed with 'Easy Wave Violet' from Ball Seed. This deep and luminous magenta flower obviously has some neon in its parentage.

Succulents have been happy this summer. I've got several pots on my patio that are almost getting too plump for their own good. Plants of this type turn a little flaccid when they need water. But you can let them get that way without a worry in the offseason. But with so much heat, they don't mind a heavy hand with the watering can.

A dish full of succulents

In this mixed pot, the largest plant is Echeveria pallida. Clockwise, the silvery plant is Oscularia deltoides. The greenish rosette at bottom center is Echeveria pulidonis, and above and to the left is Echeveria runyonii cv 'Topsy Turvey'.  To the left of the largest Echeveria is the appropriately-named jellybean plant, Sedum rubrotinctum. All of these, including at least half a dozen more, are from Ted's Greenhouse in Tinley Park, IL.
Up next: Roses and Anemone, and the surprise blooms of primrose and Magnolia ...


  1. I agree with you it is the same in my garden, thank goodness for annuals. I have a Petunia Surfinia in my window box that is flowering its socks off at the moment, and I was given some mixed petunias that i have in a trough,they have been happily flowering all summer long. Sadly it will soon be time to pull them out.

  2. Yes Jean and Elaine, if it weren't for my hardy hibiscus 'Sweet Caroline' that just keeps putting on a show with its big pink blooms, things are quite colorless right now. Any other suggestions besides annuals?